On Monday, Chile international Eduardo Vargas completed his transfer from Hoffenheim of the Bundesliga to reigning Liga MX champions Tigres. It's a hugely exciting move for Mexican football, but where will the attacker fit into Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti's star-studded team? Our experts Tom Marshall, Cesar Hernandez, Nayib Moran and Eric Gomez discuss.
Near Gignac, but first-team football isn't a guarantee
Vargas may be fit and ready to feature as early Tigres' home match against Toluca on Saturday, but Ferretti is unlikely to throw the 27-year-old straight into the team.
Vargas is obviously a major signing, but an experienced and settled manager like Ferretti isn't going to be rushed into any decision. He'll take his time and assess Vargas in training. The newcomer will not walk into the side unless he proves himself first. If he thinks in any way that coming to Mexico guarantees first-team football, he just needs to look at Andy Delort for a reference point.
When and if he does get the start, the Chile international is most likely to slot in alongside or just behind Andre-Pierre Gignac -- who himself is increasingly taking up deeper positions. Vargas could also play out wide, but he's more suited to doing so in a 4-3-3 formation, rather than Ferretti's 4-4-1-1.
The most likely scenario is that Ismael Sosa will be moved out wide and one of Javier Aquino or Jurgen Damm -- both right-footed players -- will drop to the bench. Damm is the most likely to miss out, which would represent another blow to his national team chances.
And while a lot of the talk at present is about Vargas, Peru international Luis Advincula is potentially another top signing for Tigres and should quickly become the starting right-back. -- Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup)
In Damm's place on the wing or in a brand new lineup
Most --- if not all --- Liga MX managers wish they had the same problem as Ferretti: A massive surplus of attacking talent. With Vargas now in the picture, the boss will need to find a way to squeeze the gifted player into his starting XI.
The first spot that comes to mind is Damm's place on the right wing. Although the Chile international doesn't have the same level of devastating pace as the young Mexico player, he has superior dribbling and finishing abilities that would easily compensate for the slight decrease in speed.
The next practical answer is to place Vargas in Sosa's spot next to Gignac. However, for the sake of experimenting with Tigres' roster, one thing that Ferretti could try is finding a place for all of his best attackers in an atypical starting XI.
That could mean a 3-3-3-1 formation with Gignac as the lone striker, Aquino, Sosa and Damm working behind him and Lucas Zelarayan, Guido Pizarro and Vargas midfield behind those three.
Is this something Ferretti would try? More than likely no, but it might be an option for the manager to consider when he is trying to make room for Tigres' newest acquisition. -- Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol)
If he convinces Ferretti, ideally alongside Gignac
Convincing Ferretti could be one of the toughest tasks in Mexican football. His strict demeanor and vast experience make him a very well-respected minds. Vargas' successful trajectory with the Chile national team is undeniable, but if he doesn't take advantage of the opportunities the Tigres coach hands him in the coming weeks, we could see another case similar to Delort.
With that being said, hours after Vargas landed in Monterrey, Ferretti appeared hopeful in his statements about the Chile international. He expects to see the same Vargas who suits up for La Roja at Tigres, because the forward will also be surrounded by a significant number of talented players.
Ideally, he'll play alongside Gignac, which means that Sosa, Damm and Aquino will have to battle it out for two places in the starting XI. The arrival of Vargas could open up the possibility of seeing Sosa play on the right flank, a place where he tormented many Liga MX defenders with Pumas. -- Nayib Moran (@nayibmoran)
He's a big name, but he may not fit in at all
I think the main question is whether he'll fit in at all. Vargas comes with a name, sure, and most of us were wowed by that great performance against Mexico in the 2016 Copa America Centenario. But his numbers at the club level have been pretty discreet for a while now and he was never truly able to find his footing in Europe.
Of course, this isn't Europe -- and he'll be playing on Mexico's best team with some of the best players supporting him. If he can do what Delort didn't and crack the lineup, there's no telling what the ceiling for Tigres can be in 2017. -- Eric Gomez (@EricGomez86)